All posts tagged Amy

Friday Mar. 24. 8.30. P.M. [1944]
# DIARY RESUMES AFTER 2½ WEEKS
# CONSCRIPTED NIECES OVERWORKING
# RECOVERING FROM INFECTION
# WILL UNWELL AFTER NIGHT OF DRAMA
# BOMBS FALL ON TRUSTHORPE

Alas, it is more than a fortnight later and I have done no more, violets are in full bloom now. Later on Tue. 7. after starting the wash I felt rather shaky and had to sit down. Then Harriet came for rabbit (gave me 10/6 for it). I walked a little way with her, wind very cold. She was full of news about Jack Milson’s sudden death and his mother’s stroke, she has died since, and news of Grace and Ivy who are both overworking owing to shortness of staff. Grace cooking at Revesby for Land Army Girls, and Ivy at Alford Hospital. I felt cold and had to leave washing and sit by fire again. Thought I had a nasty head cold but it turned out to be a boil in my nose or face which did not come to a head but infected my skin thro’ a tiny spot on my forehead. Dr. said it was a streptococcus germ from my nose which had infected and poisoned my skin and was a form of erysipelas, but not true erysip. I had to stay in bed from Sat. night until Thursday, but it yielded well to treatment, odious thick black lotion on my head, and as much water as I could drink, tea too. I did not feel very ill after my nose started to discharge except for the discomfort of my swollen face and dry mouth. Nose still discharges, and to-day my forehead just above left eyebrow is a little puffy.

Father been in bed all day with bilious attack and feverish cold. Think he is a little better tonight, he had a bit of cold and I think got a chill standing outside on Sun. night. It was very cold tho’ Jean and I were not so starved. It was an awful sight, the chandeliers and flares made it as light almost as day and we could see fires in several spots, some were Ger. planes I expect, as 7 were shot down (3 by one fighter). Kenwick Hall was partly burned by incend[iaries] and a plane came down at Legbourne but no casualties that night at all. Radio said a few planes. If that is a few, what must 800 or 1000 seem like. We did not realise they were so near as Trusthorpe but Amy wrote to say about 12 bombs were dropped between them and Hall chiefly in fields and that except for a few broken windows and a good! scare they were none the worse. One unexploded bomb was in centre of road between school and Hall so their road was closed. Ken had had three fingers in turnip cut[ting] box, fortunately only flesh wounds but very painful. I was still shaky from being in bed so perhaps that was why I was so nervous but the chief thing I felt was of utter helplessness as the planes roared high over head and all the doors and windows in the whole row of houses rattled before we heard each bump of bombs or planes. Wonder if they are about tonight again. There have been bumps, but it may be some of the unexp[loded] bombs going off. Still some of the planes sound sinister to me. Ours have gone out in great strength but not so many as Wed night. I have never seen as many as that before, they were like this all over the sky. Jean is at G.L.B. [Girls’ Life Brigade].We’ll soon go to bed when she comes. I am nervous especially with Father in bed ill.

Jack Milson, and brother, Len, had a farm in Bradshaws Lane, Hogsthorpe, near Sharpe’s market-garden (see 15 Jul 1941 and Village Map).

‘Starved’, here, meant ‘suffering from being cold’.

‘Chandeliers’ were large-area illumination flares used to expose bomber targets

Kenwick Hall and Legbourne were both near Louth (see East Lincolnshire Map).

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Mon 28 Feb. 8.50 am [1944]
# SNOW COVERS WOLDS
# MUCH LETTER WRITING
# RON AND CHUMS IMPROVISE STOVE
# COUSIN BRINGS FARM SAUSAGES ETC.

Ugh! The snow is coming down like sago as Jean says, and the wolds are thickly covered this morning. It has not “laid” here so far tho’ we had snow showers all day yesterday. Father said it was freezing when he came in just now. He has gone to M[um]by. Rd. Stn. to take a woman from Anderby to meet the train. Snow shower has whitened roofs and fence tops, it looks more like staying to-day, but tomorrow (being leap year) is the last of Feb. so we should not have it long. I hope we don’t, I am past the age of revelling in snow tho’ I like to see it.

Wrote to Ron, Dennis, Frank A and Vic last night, must write to Jock sometime. Roy is taking a course for N.C.O. [non-commissioned officer] now. Still I expect Ron wouldn’t exchange his African Star for stripes. He says “No, he hasn’t forgotten how to smile, one of the fellows calls him smiler.” I think I am more pleased to hear that than about his star, tho’ we are very pleased he has that. He and another fellow have made a stove for the billets, complete with pipe, out of an oil drum and biscuit tin. They heat up stew and beans and make Oxo and toast over it and get quite warm he says.

Amy and Ken came on Wed. Ken is growing now, he has shot thro’ sleeves and legs of his suit and looks long tho’ not by any means lanky. Amy brought us p[ork] pie, saus[ages], and mince pies, they were a very nice change. She is looking well in spite of having a nasty cold a week or two ago. Auntie [Jet] had finished knitting my tea-cosy, was very pleased to do it Amy said. She is getting on with her rug but it tries her. Wish I could think of something else for her to do, it is so difficult in these coupon days and she can do so little too. Gers. came over several nights last week some over London, chiefly over flats, several casualties. Jean is at home, it is half-term (Friday and Monday.) I think she must do the work and I will sew as I am having a bout of asthma after being free for nearly three months, at least nearly so. Well I can find plenty of sewing.

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Mon Feb 21. 8.30 a.m. [1944]
# MASS BOMBING RAIDS ON GERMANY
# NEWS FROM RON IN ITALY
# GIFTS OF CLOTHING RECEIVED

It has continued bitterly cold, too cold to snow some people say. It usually turns a little milder before snow. So far all we have is icy cold sleet showers.

Largest weight of bombs 2,300 tons dropped in Ger. early Sun morning, 79 of our planes were missing. No, the enemy is not conquered yet. 2000 U.S.A. bombers went out in daylight yesterday. Russians have cleared up pocket of trapped Gers, a terrible waste of life there. We are having a stiff fight in Italy, if we can push in where we have made bridge-head at Anzio beach it will have a great effect on German morale, proving their West defences may not be impregnable. Our Gen[eral]s are determined to do it.

Had 2 letters from Ron Thur or Fri. Rene 2 and Jean 2. 6. Mine were the most recent Jan 19 being newest. We think he has moved on as he says he missed writing one week. He is very pleased with African Star and Clasp. Said they had a great sewing-time when they received ribbons. The actual star they will get after the war. He says they have had big frosts but it gets quite hot in the day-time. He had been washing his hair and says it is a treat not to have it full of dust and sand as in summer. Says Italian women aren’t very good laundry women.

Emmie sent Jean’s grey wool all ready knitted into a very nice jumper. She had intended kn[itting] it herself but owing to other work she could not knit at mill so got a woman to do it. Jean was very pleased as it came just right for the B.B. [Boys’ Brigade] social. I am pleased too as I have plenty of work without it. Made a little dog last week from pieces Jean’s blouse. Will do for a pram toy for a baby as it is cream colour. Blouse fits well. Mrs Wilson sent Father 5/0 and a pair of very nice slippers for me. Felt soles and inner soles and very finely knitted uppers in wools of all colours. I took blk-out down before Jean went to school to-day. Eff ‘s hens are laying again, have had 1 doz eggs and can have ½ doz again to-day. Amy coming tomorrow and Ken if all well. We have killed large rabbit (Lady) as they like rabbit and the Sunday joint looks very sick by Tues.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Thur Jan. 13 1944 9.15. PM. [1944]
# VISIT TO RELATIVES AT TRUSTHORPE FARM
# LETTERS FROM RON IN ITALY
# NEWSPAPERS RUMOUR SECOND FRONT

It has been raining nearly all day but not cold for Jan. It cleared once or twice but came on again, and is raining now I think, tubs are too full now to hear if it is running in and wind seems to be rising. It was fine and sunny on Mon and dried all the clothes, but very cold. Tues it was colder still and snowed in the afternoon but turned warmer afterwards.

On Wed Rene and I went on 9.30. bus’ to Trusthorpe. We had to sprint to catch it and but for the fact that the driver and cond[uctor] have a hot drink at Miss C[anning]‘s we should probably have been left, as it went to village while we were on the wrong side of G.ma’s. It was damp and misty but cleared before we came home. Found them all pretty well, having escaped colds and flu’ so far. Aunt J[et] looks very well again and is endeavouring to “peg” a snip rug. It helps to pass the time. She gets tired of knitting and the cotton is dear. I try to think of something she can do, but do not seem able to find anything and I am sure the hours seem very long, and she does not seem able to accustom herself to going about the yard alone with a stick except just across and back [see note]. Amy says she has been much better to live with since being here that week. So perhaps she found she would have some trials wherever she was.

Had 2 letters from Ron to-day. I was writing to him after Jean went to school and it is still dark until nearly 9 indoors, Father went to bed when he came off duty at 6 am after making tea and having his porage. While writing I thought I heard someone coming and as no one knocked went to door. No one there so went to front and to my surprise found letters at 8.45, usually it is 9.45 or later. Perhaps as it was so wet, the Anderby postman dropped them in. Ron’s letters were dated 21 Nov. and 12 Dec. so not very recent. They were the ones saying he had received greetings cable for Birthday (Nov 26) and Xmas parcel. We had heard all this before. His letters were very interesting this time. One very funny. When putting away his washing the vest unrolled and it was a ladies! His pals were much amused. He had seen the laundress and she had promised to retrieve his for him. He gave us a nice little word-picture of the room where he was sitting up in bed writing, some of his pals reading, some just smoking and one packing parcels, another one, like him, sitting up in bed writing. They are a decent lot together there I think. He sounds quite resigned if not exactly content. His parcel arrived with everything quite safe and undamaged. He is very pleased with Writing Case.

Papers are full of sec[ond] front and invasion lore. The many new air-bases in Britain are ready for use, and are to be the invasion bases. There are such a lot within a few miles of us that I fear we may see more of the war than we have so far done. I am not looking forward to the start of sec front. It might mean moving off the coast too. Ke[ith] and Ma[rion] were on bus’ when we returned last night. They had been to Legbourne. Said there was snow there. Hope we don’t get it. The winter has been mild so far. Amy had a lot of ‘Wannias’ out. I noticed a flower on one of mine. Fred was having to help a neighbour to thrash so he could get help in return. Labour is scarce. Was grousing (the farmer’s privilege) because he has to grow sugar beet. Would not mind if all had to but some get off. It is the same in everything. Ken belongs to Young Farmers League or Club. It will be good for him to get about and mix with people I think. He is a nice quiet boy.

Heard from [sister] Em L. Gl[adys] had a son on Jan 4. They are pleased as they have two girls. So E has 4 Grand-d[aughter]s and 2 G.sons now. Jean is wanting to go to bed so I had better make an end, indeed I’ll have to as my new book is in the other room. Jean and I are in kit[chen] tonight. Amy tells me Aunt Fanny says Mother used to write poetry. I have a stiff covered ex[ercise] book with poems in her writing. I wonder if she wrote them. I remember my father reciting one of them once.

This began on S. Swithin’s Day in a shower of rain.
It ends in January of another year and still it rains
But sunshine has heightened many days in between
And this year’s wheat grows fresh and green.

‘Across and back’ referred to visiting the outside toilet, across the yard from the farmhouse.

Legbourne village is near the town of Louth (see East Lincolnshire Map).

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Oct 15 Friday 10. 45. P.M. [1943]
# DIARY RESUMED AFTER THREE WEEKS
# GRANDMA’S TROUBLE-FREE VISIT
# CANTAKEROUS AUNT JET A CHALLENGE
# CHEERFUL LETTERS FROM RON

“We don’t miss anything in the world as much as we miss our burdens” from Palludia by Anna Robeson Burr.

We seem to have been very busy since I last wrote in my diary. G.ma came on 27th (Mon) in the afternoon. Rene and I had washed in the morning. She stayed until Friday aft. She is very quiet and eats so very little. I was pretty well while she was here but in bed until tea-time on the Sunday. Oct 4.

Went to Trusthorpe on Thur. (Jean and I) and Aunt J[et] came back with us vowing she was so ill-treated she would never return. Aunt Fanny Robinson was there but even that did not keep her at home. Aunt F is nearly 80 and getting frail but not blind like Aunt J. She has a nature too, very much different. I can see now that mother was much more like her in many ways, tho’ she was always thought to be most like Aunt J in looks. Aunt J is very trying, and after a week of her we took her back to Amy yesterday, indeed she refused to stay any longer tho’ I would have kept her over the week-end if she would have stayed. I could not cope with her long tho’. Poor Amy, no wonder she seems apathetic at times.

Aunt Jet with late husband Tom

Aunt Jet with late husband Tom

Aunt J is cantankerous and cross-opple-ed and even worse, but I think her mind is warped or gradually weakening. She eats far too much, Jean and I reckoned up one day and she had 9 meals and snacks in the 12 hours 8 a.m to 8.p.m. Still we got along as well or better than I expected, as I am a bit irritable and crotchety myself at times. We had a “fratch” or two when I got my foot in it, and when I did I put in a few words for her to think over at leisure, hoping they might react to Amy’s benefit. One tea-time, after getting it ready an hour before time, I had to re-sugar and re-milk her tea, still it wasn’t right, it needed more sugar (she had a whole lb in her tea and malted food in the week) more hot water and more milk still. Says me, “Your cup is full now” but it was “too hot to drink” so much exasperated I said, “Blow on it then, or wait until it cools”. She shut up, got her tea quite amiably and finally remarked to Rene, “what a good cup it was”, almost upsetting Rene’s equilibrium. Still, it was queer how I missed her last night and to-day, which is probably why the quotation at the beginning of to-day’s entry struck me when reading tonight.

Father is on watch, Jean and I are in bed, Jean has been to L.G.B. [Girls’ Life Brigade G.L.B.] and I am very tired. We are relieved to have had 7 letters from Ron this week, latest dated 21 Sep. Very cheerful too.

Anna Robeson Brown Burr was an American novelist/ essayist. ‘Palludia’ was published by Duffield & Company, New York, 1928.

Aunt Fanny, née Thorpe, Robinson, the widow of George Albert Robinson, was the eldest sister of May’s mother and Aunt Jet.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Tue July 20 8.30 P.M. [1943]
# CORNED MUTTON TO REPLACE CORNED BEEF
# SEA DEFENCES DAMAGED BY WEATHER
# A VISIT FROM COUSIN AMY
# REPORTS OF SUCCESS IN SICILY
# ANOTHER NEPHEW TO WED
# MORE GUESTS EXPECTED

Jean stayed at Jessie’s for tea on Thurs. Had ham she says. Friday morning Father and Jean got their breakfast and brought mine before going on watch and to school. I rose about 11 o’c. Father had taken cinders out so I took mats up and sw[ept] and dusted leaving mats for Father to shake at 2 o’c. By then I was crocked up again. I let Father go to but[cher's] cart with Peter and Pe. let me have 2 tins corned beef. Said they were the last. After this it is to be corned mutton. I have heard it is very good. Expect we shall soon know. It is very misty and damp to-night, yet strange to say I feel better this last hour since the fog thickened (it was hazy all day) than I have for some days. Perhaps it has turned colder. Tom and Rene called a while since and he said it was the weather he loved with the mist wrapping round like a blanket. Well he is welcome to it, but I don’t like the clammy feel of it. Says the sea has come in up to Cousins’ bungalow again. The workmen are busy putting “kids” in the broken bank. Father says if they run a couple of rows of barbed wire across the gap it would be quite as effective! We did not have a gale with these tides so they were not so picturesque or so destructive as the Apr. tides.

I stayed in bed Sat morning and Jean brought me a letter up just before ten a.m. It was from Amy to say she and Aunt Jet (Ken came too) were coming in Tagg’s car about 12 o’clock. I got up at once and we got the oven started and cooked Sunday beef with York[shire] pud, rice p[udding] and stewed log[an]berries. Also new potatoes but we had no sec. vegetable. A. said she was bringing provisions. It proved to be tin[ned] beef and cooked bacon and some bought tarts. She had been out day before too. We managed alright and dinner was cooked in good time. Jean had got on pretty well downstairs. Father went to Hall’s for groceries and got me some cake too. I dusted down the stairs and made beds as soon as I was dressed. Room was clean as we had not been in since Wed. when I cleaned it well. They all looked fairly well, indeed very well. Aunt J is about as usual, never content but rather more frail I think. Jean managed to get Ken to the sea after dinner, but she says he is very shy. Rene took a snap of us sitting on the seat by the back door. It was very hot there in spite of the cold wind. Ken is making a rockery and took several bits of my rock plants to set on it so hope they grow.

We have a third of Sicily in our hands and a lot of prisoners. Catania still holds out. I wrote and sent a letter to Ron on Sunday. I wish he could get it by next Sun. Jul. 25 as it is the anniversary of his wedding. I must write to Emmie too this week. It doesn’t seem possible that a year has slipped by so quickly. Norman [Lammiman] is to be married next week. He is 21.

Gladys brought Eileen down this afternoon. She came with her G.ma [Harriet] Sunday night too. She is a sweet little babe and grows fast. Spot came too and Bill nearly wept when Father stroked her. Gl. brought a letter about two ladies who want to come on a visit. I wrote an answer for them to send back, though I would have preferred to deal directly with them. I set £2.2. a week for 1 b. room with 2 beds and sit. rm. and attendance. If they come it will be a little towards the rent. I can only do with them when Jean is at home in the mornings to help and she is only home from Fri. Jy. 23 to Tue Aug 17 so we’ll have to make our fortune quickly if at all! A lot of the mist has cleared. We are going to bed. Father on watch until 2 a.m. We are expecting Elsie Russell and friend some day this week.

‘Kids’ were bundles of thorny sticks, usually cut from hawthorn hedges. They were used to hold sand to build dunes with marram grass to form sea defences. ‘Kidding’ was a related local expression for collecting material for firewood sticks.

Frank Tagg was a farmer in Trusthorpe.

‘Spot’ was Herbert and Annie Faulkner’s (Eileen’s parents’) dog.

Elsie Russell was Emmie’s cousin.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

Sun. Jun. 27 10. 45. pm. [1943]
# FEELING BETTER BUT TIRED
# BOLEROS MADE FOR RENE AND JEAN
# MUCH LETTER WRITING
# KING RETURNS FROM NORTH AFRICA
# RON’S LETTERS MUTILATED BY CENSOR

It has been a lovely day tho’ the cool N wind continued until evening then came E into the sea. Roses are looking lovely. Am feeling better but am very tired tonight. Jean went to Chapel this morning and I cooked dinner then rested all afternoon and after tea sat in garden until 6.30. Rene came for a little while and had a few strawberries with cream and cup of tea. Mr Hillsdon staying Sat. aft. till this evening. She had her green B.M. [bridesmaid’s] dress on. Miss Baker has at last finished making the boleros from the bottom of skirts. Shall wash it as Rene has done hers and it looks beautiful. Have made Jean a Juliet cap to wear with hers but don’t know if I like it much. Have written to Ron, Amy and Jock, can’t find Jock’s AM letter anywhere so hope his address hasn’t altered.

Rene and Jean wearing Bolero Tops

The King arrived safe home Sat. morning 6. a.m. after a 14 days tour in N.A. He was a little before time owing to a following wind and when W.C[hurchill] arrived at aerodrome the plane was empty. However the King was in officers Mess Room and after a cup of tea with W they drove off together. He is spending weekend in country with Q[ueen] and P[rincesse]s. He brought them oranges and bananas. Wonder if Ron saw him.

We have had delayed letters from Ron this week (4). One of mine was clipped to bits by censor and they filched 5 p[ost]cards (wretches). It was too bad as in part of the letter he says he can mention the names and they were in the other letter. Also Kirk’s had P.C.s from John a fortnight ago. Says things in shops are a frightful price. He got Emmie hand-bag and compact, the last H.B. they had except some at extortionate prices. It would be nice to have a little souvenir from N.A. It’s a pity they try to fleece the soldiers so.

Mr Hillsdon would have been staying overnight with Tom and Rene. He had been Best Man at their wedding (see 25 Oct. 1942).

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?